The collections below are freely available web resources. Additionally, the Library subscribes to many periodicals databases that contain access to illustrations.
For example, the American Periodicals Series (available through ProQuest) is a full-text-/full-image resource containing 1000 magazines published between 1741 and 1900. Titles include Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine, the first American professional journals, and several consumer magazines still in publication, such as Vanity Fair, Harper's, and Ladies' Home Journal. Search for this and other databases here.
A digital collection from Duke University of over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.
An online searchable collection of over 50,000 images of press and TV advertising, magazines, cinema posters, ephemera, and comics.
Another digital collection from Duke University of over 9,000 images from the United States' early history of advertising.
A large archive of UK adversiting history. Currently, every entry to the British Television Advertising Awards from 1977 to the present are available online (Arrows Archive). Although there is not an online database of images, they welcome research requests.
The Library of Congress American Memory project contains many digital collections of images and multimedia on a variety of topics. Two collections relating to advertising are: Broadsides and Printed Ephemera and Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements.
The New York Public Digital Library contains many collections of images that are constantly being added to. Collections that may contain images related to advertising: American Popular Song Sheet Covers, 1890-1922, Turn of the Century Posters, and Art from the George Arents Collection on Tobacco.
Over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research
Selected resources contributed by Ian McDermott, formerly Assistant Librarian at the Yale Center for British Art.